Metro strip mall damages stores and memories

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Flames ravage a popular business here in the metro. For years “The Paint N Station" on North May has been home to kids' birthday parties and a place to just unwind with family and friends.

Paint N Station has been at a shopping center at the corner of Wilshire and May for about 20 years. A lot of families have come through here and a lot of memories have been made.

The building is still here, but a lot of that may have been lost.

"Pieces that you paint today may not mean anything until 20 years later," Owner Misty Gilbert says.

It’s a place that, piece by piece, has put together more than crafts.

"It’s just not been a mission; it's been a mission for family time," Gilbert says. "[It provides] great opportunities for meeting families and building lifetime memories; the things that their children paint."

At about 7:00 Thursday morning flames ravaged the back part of the store and smoked overtook the rest of the place, as well as other businesses in the complex. Fire crews were able to get it under control pretty quickly.

OKC Battalion Chief, Steve Lumry, said, "Once they opened the rear of Paint N Station store they found a large amount of fire in the store room, and we were able to quickly extinguish that."

The fire was contained to the storage area of Paint N Station and the smoke damaged about five additional other stores.

Flames may have disrupted business for a while, but not the owner's spirit.

"It was a fun little arts and crafts thing that God gave me and has just totally blessed it," Misty Gilbert says.

The owner says parties that were planned will have to be rescheduled and they're willing to work with customers.

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